Small projects wrap up for Westonka schools
After a public election approved two maintenance bonds for the Westonka Public School District last November, construction on the district’s buildings is wrapping up for the first of three summers.
The Facilities Update is planned to take place over three summers with the first concluding this August. This summer’s construction consisted of smaller construction projects.
Kevin Borg, the superintendent at the Westonka Public School District, said that planning was a larger portion of the construction that was completed this summer.
“Most of our time was spent planning this summer,” said Borg. “There were a few projects that were completed, mostly improving the safety for our kids.”
The first phase of the Facilities Update included an elevator code upgrade at Shirley Hills and Grandview, playground improvements at Hilltop, Shirley Hills and Grandview, a remodel of the track and field press box at the high school and the replacement of the deteriorated east sidewalk at the district’s offices.
At Grandview Middle School, Borg said playground upgrades included a new walk in entrance, renovation to sidewalk and railings and the installation of new basketball hoops.
The Shirley Hills Primary School playground changes featured an upgrade to portions of the equipment.
The Hilltop Primary School playground also received equipment upgrades, and also a change to the paint on existing equipment that Borg said needed to be fixed.
“At Hilltop the paint was peeling off,” he said. “When the paint was peeling off the kids were getting paint slivers.”
Overall, Borg said all of the summer projects at the schools were completed without major issue.
“They were small projects, and all of the projects were completed within budget,” he said.
This year still will bring small changes to portions of the school district. Borg said a new sound system at Hilltop Primary should be done by the middle of October. The district is also working on reviewing the infrastructure of the electronic system at the school. One change they are hoping to make is an upgrade to the district’s voicemail.
Heavier construction is planned for the summers of 2013 and 2014. According to school district documents, the “School Board Facility Committee, Wold Architects and Engineers and Kraus-Anderson will detail and cost estimate the scope of work at each building. The goal is to have all the project designs on budget and the final scope defined by December 2012.”
Borg said that planning the construction to the buildings took a majority of the Facilities Update time this summer, and in the fall the school board will continue to work with the project.
“It’s really gearing up so we can address our building needs,” he said.
In January, bidding will begin for the summer projects of 2013 and 2014.
According to the district documents, “the summer of 2013 will see the start of major construction at Shirley hills, Hilltop and select projects at the Educational Service Center.”
Then, in the summer of 2014, the other two district schools will have their turn at construction.
According to the construction documents, “construction at the High School and Grandview will occur in the summer of 2014. All referendum work is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2014.”
The project, which was approved by the public in an election in November of 2011, consists of a $23.3 million bond and a $6.6 million bond.
The first bond is for improvements to parking lots, roofs, exteriors of buildings, technology infrastructure and mechanical and electric systems. The second, smaller bond is for smaller projects such as updates to bathrooms, locker rooms, playgrounds, kitchens, athletic field maintenance and building security.